my husband says to me as he is hugging me good bye this morning,
“i hope you have a show tonight as good as lil’s last night!” and if i do, i will be on cloud nine FOREVER!!!
lemme tell you why….
yesterday was lily’s last day of rock-n-roll camp! she attended every day for four hours for two and a half weeks. her band consisted of 8-10 year olds: a bass player, keyboard player, electric guitarist, drummer…and…tah-dah!…..lily on lead vocals!
i’d pick her up everyday and she would say things like “today was amazing!’ or “this was the best day of my life!” and then she would walk around the house practicing the lyrics to “gimme some lovin'” or “twist and shout”, but we had NO IDEA how UNBELIEVABLY FANTASTIC her FIRST GIG last night at the BROKEN SPOKE was going to be….ok, ok, you probably think i am being a proud mom here. well, dagnabit, i am!!!!!!!, but lemme say, also, that this was one of the most lovingly organized rock-n-roll shows i have ever had the honor to attend.
we got to the broken spoke at 6 pm…which was a good thing as it was already packed with kids and families and video cameras and people camping out at tables with their ice teas and nachos. the broken spoke has a rectangular, low ceilinged room and has been the home of everyone from the legendary bob wills to asleep at the wheel…in other words, it is a true texas honky tonk dance hall!
so, the middle of the room is one big old slab of smooth concrete (from years of boot scootin…it shines! shiny concrete! who knew!?)
kids with blue hair. kids in plaid pants with chains. kids in vans (the shoes, not the vehicles). small kids, tall kids, kids with braces, kids dressed like stevie ray vaughn and japanese pop stars. kids walking in, getting their hand stamped at the door (that cracked me up for some reason…you got a little wheel on your hand!)…kids carrying electric guitars and drum sticks and amps and wow! it was a mini-revolution going on in there, except all the punks were saying “excuse me” and the wee ones all sat on the front of the stage in a row, like crows on a wire…and there sat lily, chatting it up with her friend and fellow musician, willow (could she have a cooler r-n-r name!?).
lily, whose hair we had only moments before colored gold with blue and green chunks in the front….looking like a lovebird from the rain forest, laughing and smiling, sipping tea through a straw out of a giant sized red plastic cup.
and io dancing and doing cartwheels, babies bopping back and forth, moms checking their cameras, a giant fan blowing air from the side of the stage, everyone’s hair flowing and laughter erupting in the glow of dim lightbulbs, me saving a spot on the shiny concrete floor directly in front of the stage (much like i’m waiting for the stones to appear at any minute!!) and i am not moving because i am SAVING OUR SEATS so we can see lily front and center because even MORE PEOPLE will be arriving when the show starts at 7:00!!!
lance arrives, marty arrives, maxine and sophia arrive, teresa arrives, jen and her girls arrive (including lily’s best friend), lily’s dad arrives with a big array of flowers…and maxine and sophia and the girls have made SIGNS!!! “LB on the LP!” and “Goo Lily!” (which means “go lily!” but all the moms are loving it as “goo”!)…we are now a cheering squad, waiting for our lil….and the time arrives…
alvin crow, (who along with mike murphy runs the camp), pops up on the stage looking like an old pro: red running pants with white stripes down the length of the leg, a white tee shirt….starts announcements on the mic, telling us the names of the bands…first it will be the stingrays, followed by COLDFLAME (at which point we all hoot and holler…it’s lily’s band!!!!)….followed by 10 other great names
(“don’t panic” comes to mind…ha ha! that was a good one)….and the kids all file into the back left beside the stage…there they go!
and here they come! the first band is a group of 14-15 year olds with THREE GIRLS IN THE BAND! this is “stingray”….(no, the humor wasn’t lost on lance and me….cuz our design group is called “stingray”, too)…they blew my mind…! on keyboards, bass and lead vocals/electric guitar…they were really, really good. i mean REALLY. not only do they teach these kids how to be a band, but they help them with introductions, sharing the instruments (trading off) and how to have complete composure….they really rock hard and seemed like they’ve been together, jamming late nights in funky clubs, for as long as the people who actually play in clubs!
of course, i’ve been running video all night…captured lily at home before we left the house…her walking into the club…her dancing and hanging out and waiting…and now, here comes alvin to introduce COLDFLAME and lily and her bandmates are hitting the stage, strutting on like they OWN the joint!!! lily is at the mic now, can you see her? in a hot pink tee shirt with black tiger stripes(her best friend’s, by the way!) and black pants and slick black go-go boots…her hair is hanging all around her face, the chunks of blue and green falling across her left eye…very dramatic! she asks us how we’re doing, she tells us they are coldflame, she tells us the name of their first song, and WHAMMO! they are off and MAKING MUSIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
am i excited? am i the happiest person on the whole entire planet at that moment? am i trying not to totally lose it? yes, yes, i was doing really good and only cried at the very end, big wet sloppy sobbing joy running out my eyeballs tears of complete and utter enthusiastic love love and more love heart beaming tears everywhere still holding the camera steady for all three songs the last one is where i am bursting through the roof of the club and out into the universe and the stars are patting me on the back and celebrating the beauty that is this being called LILY and where did she channel that confidence and her voice oh her voice so smooth and proud and having a BLAST and wow! wow! all i can think is she is not even nine yet and she is ROCKING OUT WITH A BAND and having an experience she can remember now forever and ever amen and i am so thrilled for her to harbour all this passion life learning compassion where will she go with this talent and love in her life? she already IS. she is who she is and it is fabulous and i can let go and know she is on her life’s journey and i just need to keep loving her and she is so FINE!!!!!!!
(yes, you are going to have to read more entries about io that are like this, as well….and i betcha i start throwing some in about lance but right now let me beam for lily!!!!)
and the crowd is freaking out!!! we are all on our feet, suddenly, a rush of energy as coldflame finishes up their last song (after all jumping up and down in UNISON while playing their instruments AND lily singing oh oh incredible!!!) and alvin returns and says
“that is a hard act to follow!! how about that coldflame!?” and we are screaming, all of us, the whole room….
and then lily comes to sit with us and our group is smothering her with hugs and kisses and flowers and happy tears and i love yous and i love EVERYONE in that room with all my heart! i jump on alvin later with mega-thank yous and “ohmygodsthatwasmorethanicouldhaveevenimaginedgreat!” and i think i have thrown him into shock with my mom joy but i don’t care!
and we all go to kerbey lane and celebrate with pancakes and tea and sit around and it is family time, again, my little tribe of friends and
girls and husband and life is good and on the way into the restaurant a beautiful ending note….
marty and the girls see a yellow parakeet up in a tree…and they come to get me and the camera….and now our yellow feathered friend is on the tape, sitting quietly among lime green leaves, a symbol of things to come, the freedom of owning your own wings, of being different and standing out because you are who you are…sitting tall up in a tree and waiting to FLY.